FEMA Warns New Mexico Residents: Beware Of Text Messages And Other Disaster-Related Fraud

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Release date: 
October 1, 2010
Release Number: 
1936-005

DENTON, Texas -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) have been made aware that fraudulent text messages are being sent to residents who are recovering from floods in several states.

The reported text message tells recipients they have a message waiting from FEMA, and instructs them to push the star button on their cell phone to obtain information about federal disaster assistance.  A subscription of $9.99 per month will be charged to the owner of the cell phone if the star button is pushed.

While Individual Assistance (IA) funding is not available under the current presidential declaration for Cibola, McKinley, Mora, San Juan and Socorro counties, which were designated for Public Assistance (PA), residents should still be aware of these text messages. The messages are not being sent from FEMA and FEMA never charges for response or recovery services.

The agency urges anyone who receives these questionable messages to report them to their state or local consumer protection agencies or to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General at 800-323-8603 or e-mail DHSOIGHOTLINE@dhs.gov.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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